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So You're really REALLY Ready to Purchase a House? Here Are Here are 9 Pros and Cons of Buying a Property
Weigh the pros and cons of buying a house before jumping into the real estate market. Tell me if you've heard the following internal/external dialogue as you determine whether you're ready...
Stop the one-sided, one-way conversation in your head and read these pros and cons of buying a house to decide what’s right for you.
Pro: You can customize
Don't like the cabinets in your kitchen? Dying to turn that counter-top into a solid piece of granite? As a renter, you have limited ability to customize your surroundings. As a homeowner, you can make your home your canvas. Paint the walls, knock down a wall, create your dream kitchen — no one can tell you what you can or cannot do to your home. No one but your homeowners’ association, that is. :-) (oh, that cheeky homeowner's association)
Pro: Freedom to live how you want
Want to foster dogs, have seven cats, and have tunnels to navigate through your rooms? Go for it. Want to host a cookout on your deck? Start up the grill.
As a renter, you’re subject to your landlord’s rules about pets, outdoor spaces, and other lifestyle choices. As an owner, you can do almost anything, as long as it’s legal and you don’t disturb the neighbors. :-)
Pro: Financial perks
Being a homeowner can help you build up equity. You can also write off mortgage interest at tax time, get tax credits for certain improvements (such as energy-efficient windows), and turn your unused rooms into rental units for extra income.
Pro: Fixed monthly payments
As long as you are on a fixed-rate mortgage, your mortgage payments will remain steady (although in certain cases, they could go up. But long term, as inflation kicks in, you’ll repay your mortgage in cheaper dollars over time.
If you’re a tenant, unless you live in a rent-controlled area, your landlord can increase your rent anytime your lease is up for renewal. And if your lease is month-to-month, your landlord could legally raise the rent every 30 days.
Con: Less flexibility
If your circumstances or preferences change, you no longer have the flexibility to move quickly. As a renter, if you lose your job, realize you hate your neighborhood, or decide to move in with your significant other, you can move as soon as your lease expires (or plunk down whatever cash is necessary for an early lease termination).
If you own a home, by contrast, you’ll have to endure extensive additional expenses, hassle, and stress to sell (or rent out) your home before you can move to your next spot.
Con: Limited access to amenities
When you move to a house, you may not be able to access to-quality amenities you were accustomed to as a renter. You may have to say goodbye to that gym, swimming pool or valet trash service.
Con: More responsibility
As soon as a home is in your name, the maintenance and repair hassles are now your responsibility. That leaky faucet will no longer be magically fixed while you're at work, and you'll have to start mowing the lawn in the summer and shovel snow in the winter.
Con: More financial pressure
Owning a home is a long-term financial responsibility. If you’re a renter and you’re hit with a financial hardship, you can move into a less-expensive rental. As a homeowner, you’re stuck with your mortgage (or you can try a refinance). If the idea of paying a mortgage for 15 to 30 years makes you hyperventilate, you’re probably not ready for home-ownership.
Con: Costly surprises
As a homeowner, you face a lot of potentially expensive surprises, such as a roof that suddenly starts leaking or a sump pump that fails and lets your basement flood. As a renter, your biggest potential surprise expense is a rent hike when your lease is up for renewal — and if you don’t like the proposed rent increase, you can negotiate or move.
- See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/rent-buy/?ecampaign=cnews&eurl=www.trulia.com%2Fblog%2Frent-buy%2F#sthash.x3KSM2Iz.dpuf